Subject: Re: The GPL is "inherited"
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 23:56:53 +0000

"L. Peter Deutsch" wrote:

> Actually, I think "inherited" is even better than "hereditary".
> "Inheritance" is a relatively value-free term in common technical use,
> unlike "hereditary".  How does it feel to say that the GPL is an "inherited
> license"?

Does this make GPL software an OO class <g>

"Inherited" is reasonably good.  I'd been leaning toward "persistant" --
the terms of the GNU GPL persist through versions and derivations of the
original software.  The phrase "the GPL is a persistant license" rings
more true to me than "the GPL is an inherited license".  The latter
suggests a choice of heritability, which isn't the case.  Both are more
accurate than the term "viral" which suggests that the GPL might be
capable of invading other software.  It cannot except through
incorporation of GPL'd code.

I'll also cast my lot with those for whom "viral" is not pejorative, and
suggest that a willing adoption of the term by promoters and supporters
of the GPL will take a lot of wind out of the sails of detractors. 
Strong parallels to the gay rights movement here.  If the GPL is good,
and its mechanisms are both fair and successful, I see no reason to
shrink from it -- remember, Richard:  I am in touch with my inner
opinion, and it is not humble.

Karsten M. Self (
    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?

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